martyna: Totoro Plushies in front of netbook (totoros)
[personal profile] acari posted an entry on Christmas a couple of days ago (prompted by an article in the Guardian) and asked everyone how they were spending their Christmas time - or the corresponding holiday in everyone's religion.

Basically, Christmas changed for me a lot since I arrived in France. I will start with the Christmas with my family I was used to (usually in Germany) and then continue with Frenchie Christmas (= with M. and his family).

The Christmas feeling usually started a little before December, with the first Advent and the Advent wreath and sometimes clove-pierced oranges. My mum also put up chain lights/fairy lights on the windows with us, sometimes we tried to make forms (stars for example). Marzipanbrot and Schoko-Dominos are typical sweets for the time preceding Christmas. My mum was always very strict regarding when and how much sweets we had, so we never had a lot of it - at least, until Christmas itself! We also usually had Advent calendars, when I was young little stockings with barely the space for a little sweet (or actually other gem) each day, but later there were the supermarket style chocolate-calendars. I think we once had a Playmobil-one, too. I really like Advent calendars, that little chocolate (or surprise gem) really can make one's day.
On December 6th we would usually have St Nikolaus - we would find sweets, oranges, nuts, tangerines and sometimes small gifts like stickers in our shoes, stockings or tights. We were of course supposed to clean our shoes to perfection before putting them out and always took great care to choose the biggest shoes we had. I think I once had a birch (which is for naughty children), though when I burst out crying my mum said it was only a joke or something like this. I remember she hasn't been serious about it, but I can't remember what exactly was going on. I also remember having written a long letter to Nikolaus once after he had "lost" his bonnet jammed in the door the previous year and telling him I had stored it safely for him.
Finally Christmas itself is a huge affair - usually we didn't set out to Poland in the winter, due to the difficulties on the road. This limited the impact of Christmas and basically it was Christmas evening with a little bit festive feeling (and food) left for the 25th. We had every year (when at home) a real Christmas tree, decorated by us with chain lights, self-made coloured paper-chains and Christmas ball ornaments. Sometimes we had a colour-theme (silver, gold, red, mix of two colours) or we went crazy on decorating. It also depended on who was "responsible" for decoration... or if we did it all together. Some years we had aluminium foil wrapped chocolate ornaments (put the hyphens were they belong...) for the tree or we used old or self-made ornaments, but I usually liked a more sober Christmas tree.
When it comes to Christmas food... it was usually rather traditional Polish food, depending on the ingredients available. When older, once or twice we fastened on the 24th to better appreciate the evening meal. (It happened that I got really angry at my mum one of these times, because she wanted to call all family members before dining and having been preparing all day long wonderful food without eating the smallest bit I felt just too impatient to wait longer.) We usually have clear Barszcz with Uszka (the picture on the Uszka-link depicts it quite well), but the other dishes are quite depending -as I said earlier- on the circumstances and ingredients available. When in Poland, we usually had lots, LOTS, LOTS of different plates. Another tradition is to share Opłatek, usually a quite solemn moment.
Finally, when the first star is out shining, blinking, twinkling in the sky, the gift-opening starts. I believed for quite some time in Santa Claus, I even have the memory of seeing disappearing his sleigh in the night sky when I have been at my paternal grandma's.

Now, let's come to how I live Christmas in France. I won't comment on the year I've been volunteering, because it's too specific and I clearly can't remember any details, expect spending hours in the kitchen to reproduce for everyone something with the vague delight and deliciousness that is Barszcz. (Did I make some Uszka? I don't think so.)

Since in France, November and December are very study-intensive months, with most exams being in January. I usually don't manage to even notice when December rolled around - not to talk about preparing anything. We still don't have any decorations (just three, four small ornaments I got from a fellow Bookcrosser ♥), which has another reason: we are spending Christmas normally with M.'s family. Though I'd like some cloved oranges. His grandparents don't bother for a lot of decoration, if any. When it comes to Advent calenders, there seem to be none in the supermarket where we usually do our shopping, but mum happened to send us some this year again! (...und die Marzipankartoffeln wurden sofort von M. gekidnappt.)
The food here is different and before dining we are surprised (and do surprise) by gifts on everyone's plate. The food I associate with Frenchie Christmas is Foie Gras, snails (not that I manage to find the courage to try them) and a Bûche for dessert. The main dishes vary, usually with capon with chestnuts or Boudin blanc with apples . Often enough we have Ravioles du Dauphiné when down there, so I associate it with Christmas, too. I think it's rather a regional food than a seasonal one. Except that we are with family, it isn't so much anything special.

If you have any question, go ahead.
martyna: Totoro Plushies in front of netbook (netbook)
I still don't have a lot of time, but there's a post for [personal profile] acari in my think tank. Also, a post on bags (the photos are waiting for ages, let's hope I find them again!) and one on "beauty" await typing. If I haven't posted about that yet. I don't think I did.
JLPT went so-so. (I may pass or may not.) Tomorrow I'll know if I passed the first selection round for studying a year abroad. (I don't think so. I would have needed to be in the better 50% of candidates.) That is in Japan. (Which would be cool and scary.) Tomorrow I'll probably also send my first candidature for the internship. Life happens.

(Crossposting this to LJ for you to know I'm still alive and yes, you can read on on Dreamwidth.)
martyna: Eggs, eggshells,... (oeufs)
Bentô o1 Dec 2010
Sesame(b&w)-powdered basmati rice with tuna. Pepitos (chocolate-covered cookies), banana covered with honey and white sesame, tomato with balsamic sauce, a little part of crottin (cheese).
martyna: one of my pyjamas and a hair brush (getting ready)
...I went to the Tourist Office to fetch some maps of Paris in Japanese (free!) for the FFJE. I thought there was also a Body Shop in the Gare de Lyon, but I didn't spot it. Instead I took some steps around the Sephora store. I though if only I had a helpless enough look someone would come and help me out, but noone did. Since I had no money with me, I didn't want to ask them what I should buy, without being able to do it. Erm.
Also, I'll flood you with some more beauty-related feeds Friday, though honestly, I'll need to lighten up my reading list as soon as university starts again. But until then... and I'll slowly thin the reading list out, so I don't drop something that's really interesting.
I really would like to do some shopping, too, but still have no clue how to choose the right things and have fun and... need to wait until I have money again, too. Gives me some more time to think everything over.
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (rollers)
Here's the plan: every Friday, let's recommend some people and/or communities to follow on Dreamwidth. That's it. No complicated rules, no "pass this on to 7.328 friends or your cat will die". Just introduce us to some new things to read. - [personal profile] damned_colonial
You can read all Follow Friday-tagged entries on the latest page.

First off, I left this community, but maybe it is useful for others: [community profile] perl.
In other news [community profile] bento_picnic started to be slightly more active, which is just YAY! (Note to self: Remember to crosspost!)
Personally my involvement in [community profile] exercise_every_day will enlighten those of you who felt spammed by my sporty updates. That's it community-wise.

But I importated a couple (=too many) of feeds during the last week to Dreamwidth:
[syndicated profile] jlistnew_feed: For the J-List shop. Beware of all the kinky items. I should probably check for a no-"adult"-items feed.
[syndicated profile] lenouveaujaponoblog_feed: En français, une copine partie pour une année étudier au Japon. Jalousie!
[syndicated profile] monbento_feed: Un blog sur... eh oui, bentô.
[syndicated profile] mademoisellem_feed: encore un deuxième!

...und weil man irgendwann auch Frau werden will: ;)
[syndicated profile] innenundaussen_feed: Make-Up-Tests und Kommentare (Danke [personal profile] billie!)
[syndicated profile] pinkpueppi_feed: Ähnlich wie Innen&Aussen

Last but not least:
[syndicated profile] wyborczakraj_feed: Wiadomosci krajowe Gazety Wyborczej!

On another hand I was SO surprised to discover the Amazon Universal Wish List - to be able to add with one click items from other sites makes it so much easier to remember what one wanted to buy. At some point. Maybe. If there is some money left. You get the idea. :) (The only thing that bothers me slightly, that the last name doesn't seem to be hidden. Anyone knows about it or wants to check it for me?)
If you want to share your list, go ahead! (All comments will be screened!) Is there any wishlist-sharing community on Dreamwidth, by the way? Not that my reading list will probably cut a lot, when uni starts again, but... in the meanwhile?
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport)
We went back to the library today and I got a book called "Les gyms du bien-être". Including something on yoga. The introduction was so... spiritual that the book was almost dropped right away, so I put in the DVD to see the 12 minutes of yoga class. Not interesting at all, not explained (probably because they expected one to read the book before), thus I stopped at some point and changed to check out my first YOGAmazing video. Neck and shoulders work-out. Granted, the guy is not my type, his voice isn't steadily recorded and the way he speaks... however, I enjoyed those 18 minutes far more than the "professional" presentation on the lent DVD. I guess it will go back as soon as possible to the library. Maybe I'll give it a another chance tomorrow.
There's a second book, "Le Yoga", but sadly without a DVD. We'll see what it gives.
martyna: Totoro Plushies in front of netbook (netbook)
Here's the plan: every Friday, let's recommend some people and/or communities to follow on Dreamwidth. That's it. No complicated rules, no "pass this on to 7.328 friends or your cat will die". Just introduce us to some new things to read. - [personal profile] damned_colonial

I don't think I have anything for you though.
Oh, I have!

[community profile] bakeitup had a nice HelloKitty icecream - I need a HelloKitty or similarly cute cake mold!

In other news I did a little bento for M. last night, but apparently he is going to eat with some superiors in a restaurant today. (=___=) He said he might eat it tomorrow, but by then the rice will go dry, probably. He decided the package looked nice, though, but had no time this morning to check inside. (Photo might follow, I have it done.) Of course, him being out last night was part of the "Surprise! Bento!" thing, so I wasn't going to ask him if par hasard he had some meeting today for lunch. Disappointment. But last night's episode of Bones was hilarious!
Somehow having a lot to do today doesn't make me do it. I should get some exercises done, clean up at least the living room and kitchen for tonight's family reunion and do some more kanji. (Because I actually did some kanjiboxing this morning!) Oh, good news: I subscribed to the local library and they have a whole room of material for language learning! I just realised two seconds ago, they may have also some yoga related items, but that might fall under the paying tariff for videos and non-book-related CDs. Thus I link you to [community profile] a_paris! :P

PS: I also have a weird craving for fanfiction. Help!?
martyna: Eggs, eggshells,... (oeufs)
Here's the plan: every Friday, let's recommend some people and/or communities to follow on Dreamwidth.

There's [syndicated profile] watchtheguild_feed! But I guess I might have already told you about that one?

Ich habe mich jetzt für einen Amazon-Gutschein entschlossen, damit ich sicher bin, dass ich die Sachen auch herbekommen könnte:

Mal sehen wann ich aufgebe. ;) (Aber die Seite bietet gute Zeitverschwendung, wenn man krank ist. Ernsthaft.)
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport)
I wasn't impressed with Yogatic's Yoga for Beginners. Part of it might be for the different environment I did it in today, but I missed the "breath in/out" parts that were so prominent in the other courses and it felt like hurrying through the exercises at times. ("See, that's it. Hope you got it, next one now.") I do not feel as if I did any exercises, really. I won't do anything else now, but maybe if I find the time later...

I'm hot

Aug. 2nd, 2010 10:32 am
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport)
...from doing the GymD, thanks to [ profile] fuyu_tokyo. I chose the most recent class, which was sort of a dance class. The first choreography was still okay, but the second part... too fast, too much coordination and I'm not (yet) good enough with that. Also, I didn't have quite the space, being afraid the TV would suffer if I did all of it as enthusiastically as they showed it. So I skipped about 15 minutes, just kept doing the basic steps while they finished their choreography. Anyway, I was already all sweat after 10 minutes, so skipping 15 minutes out of an hour doesn't feel such a big deal.
I guess that's the big difference compared to yoga: I actually feel making a real effort, and in some way, that's good to.


Aug. 1st, 2010 10:23 am
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport) second C25K run. Ears better today, it's been less windy. Maybe I should stop spamming you in my journal and instead move to one of the exercises communities? Hm, what do you think?
...with the "Yoga for Dummies" Sun Salutation exercises.
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport)
I did the "Yoga for Dummies" videos. I can't say either, that I liked or disliked them, I guess I'll need to do some more asanas to see if it's worth to continue for me. My main apprehension is the lack of oxygen I feel after some time and thus I rather felt tired than energised at the end. Breathing problem again, huh? We'll see.
martyna: Matt's and my inline-skates (sport)
...from my first C25K run. Last night we went out so I could get a wristband while fetching our pizza. Later, I found that there are podcasts where they tell you when to run and when to walk, so I got Robert Ullrey's C25K Podcasts. The music was on the lower range of okay (okay enough for running), but I think I'll try either another podcast with music, but not comments or mix up the comments-only one with my own music. The point is Robert has probably done an effort, but at times I couldn't hear what he was saying. (Even Paris in the green skies is loud in the morning rush hours.)
Let's get to the "major" problems: a.) I have no breathing technique and thus run immediately out of breath (and sport bras are not helpful either) and b.) earache. Those have been problems for a couple of years now, though I can't remember having them back in Germany. Especially the earache even despite having my earpieces. I think both of them are a reason for feeling completely out of shape and exhausted, because doing other sports I feel far less drained... when I do them.
What I'm wondering about is also why I feel my legs/muscles in the very beginning, but not at all in the end - warm up related?
So at least I got up with sweetie and did it. I don't know whether I'll do another run on Sunday or if we'll do the roller skating thing. I also discovered there are 45 minutes of free yoga on Sundays in one of Paris parks, but I wonder whether you need a mat - I guess so? (I'll check back in Germany whether there is one I could bring back here. I don't want to buy one without knowing it will be used.)
On another hand I wanted to record a TV Gym program just to have a look at it and because I won't get up at 6 am to do it. NO way, especially during my holidays and not knowing if it will be fun. Sadly, it seems our recorder can't keep up with the analogue/TNT-thing and has only the analogue channels... and Direct8 is not one of them.

Huh, this got quite long!


Jul. 5th, 2010 11:41 am
Has anyone else problems with MU during the last days? (File starts charging and then at some point doesn't continue + impossible to pause and pick it back up?)


Jun. 30th, 2010 09:37 am
Meine letzte Prüfung ist gar nicht morgen, sie ist erst Freitag! Fail! at life. ;___;
I follow you, dear circle, but I'm generally to engrossed in revisions to post and don't even notice the days going past. I feel unprepared for the upcoming week. It makes me want to cry out loud. Doesn't help to be ill (but yay, haven't been for quite some time!), have been stuck for the past days.

Before I start on my recommendations, does anyone know how to prepare honey lemon slices? I've seen them in HanaKimi (the manga) and it really grabbed my interest.

[syndicated profile] tofugu_feed - migrated on my circle from my LJ friendslist. Japanese learning ideas.
[syndicated profile] inalcojapon_feed - an information feed for our department at uni. Big, positive, surprise.

Fanfiction is [personal profile] lokifan's again: Hi, Malfoy and Trapped.

...and now one of the internet highlights from the past week: Hipp♥ Squee!
[personal profile] sharpest_asp asked last week -but after I had already posted: Tell me what comm or journal on Dreamwidth gets you motivated, makes you smile, hypes up your life, anything that makes it an integral part of your Dreamwidth day!
I don't think there's anyone of my circle who posts every day. Instead have a feed: [syndicated profile] zooborns_feed where I don't even read, the images are plenty enough and soooo cute! Hope they will have some baby sharks at some point. :D

Draco, Pure Blood (Photo, dA)

Wanted to show you something else, but it seems the link changed... too bad!